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Microsoft wants a piece of the Open Source pie

Fri, 27/05/2011

Microsoft made an announcement at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco this month, that the Linux distribution, CentOS, would now runs as a "first class citizen" on Windows Server R2 Hyper-V.

CentOS is a community enterprise version on Linux, based on RedHat Enterprise Linux, offering all the stability of RHEL without the RedHat support costs. CentOS has been ForLinux's distribution of choice for server hosting for many years as it has proved more cost effective that RHEL.

Microsoft says its motives for offering Linux CentOS on Windows Servers, via a hypervisor, are purely customer centric. The software giant says it has experienced problems in the past when issues have arisen that are not linked to its hypervisor, however they have been forced to send the customer off to sort out the problems with the operating system themselves, as there is no support service offered with this community edition of Linux. This move is simply intended to provide a more complete service to Microsoft's clients.

Sandy Gupata, Microsoft General Manager for the Open Solutions Group said "If a customer calls, we will prove installation and configuration support for CentOS as well, and not tell them to go find a vendor for CentOS,"
Gupata wrote on his blog this week “This development enables our Hosting partners to consolidate their mixed Windows and Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V; reducing cost and complexity, while betting on an enterprise class virtualization platform.”

However, cynics are convinced this move to offering support for Open Source CentOS has more to do with Microsoft's desire to protect its future business than for meeting customer needs. Perhaps Microsoft's strategy is that by retaining relationships with organisations that choose to use Open Source for their hosting in the short term, they are holding the door open for future business in the long term.

ForLinux is committed to supporting the Open Source Community to facilitate the growth of Open Source products and services. Not only do we install CentOS as our standard distribution, but this year we also provided a dedicated server to the Community Enterprise Operating System, CentOS, in support of their continued research and development.

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October, 2012